Departmentof Energy

Energy Department budget would increase to $29.5 billion

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The president's plan would boost the Energy Department's budget to $29.5 billion, up 12 percent from the 2010 budget. The department's total outlays, however, will drop as money from the 2009 economic stimulus package runs out.

Energy is at the heart of the president's quest for innovation, national security and greenhouse-gas reductions. The proposal would provide new money for energy research, including three new "hubs" for battery and electric grid research, $550 million for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and increases for promoting renewable-power projects.

It would devote $3.2 billion to energy efficiency and renewable energy, a 46 percent increase. That would include a "ShunShot" initiative that would sharply lower the cost of solar cells.

In pursuit of boosting the number of electric cars on the road, the proposal calls for $588 million, an 88 percent increase, to help communities that invest in electric-vehicle infrastructure. It also would alter the $7,500 tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles, making it a tax rebate available immediately at the point of sale. The fiscal 2012 plan would provide an additional $36 billion in loan-guarantee authority for new nuclear power plants.

- Steven Mufson

© 2011 The Washington Post Company